Republicans may be split on how to respond to President Barack Obama's executive orders to grant work permits and defer deportations for as many as 5 million illegal immigrants, but Georgia Rep. Paul Broun assured Newsmax on Friday that "we will come together."
"I'm sure that Republicans are going to come together and have a very well-thought-out strategy to try to stop this president and we must," said Broun, who is chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee. "Freedom and the rule of law hang in the balance.
"We have to look at every possible solution and pull it together to do so — and we need to do so as quickly as possible."
Republicans bitterly attacked Obama's unilateral action, which he announced Thursday in a prime-time speech carried on cable TV. He said that he was acting on his own because the House has not passed comprehensive reform legislation.
The Senate approved a sweeping bill in June 2013.
"The only thing that's been standing in the way, is a simple yes or no vote in the House of Representatives. Just a yes or no vote," he told supporters at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. He first announced his vision for reforming immigration there two years ago.
"If they had allowed a vote on that kind of bill, it would have passed," the president said. "I would have signed it. It would be the law right now."
Among other things, Obama's orders will spare illegals who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents — those with green cards — from deportation for three years. They must register with the federal government, pass a background check, and pay taxes.
They will also expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Obama created in 2012. The move now protects illegals who were brought to the U.S. as children before 2010. The previous deadline had been June 15, 2007.
Obama cautioned, however, that his actions were limited and that only broader legislation would permanently change immigration laws and help the more than 11 million immigrants illegally in the United States.
"The actions I've taken are only a temporary first step," he said.
Obama was heckled during his speech by a man who attacked him for not going far enough with the unilateral action.
"Not everyone will qualify," the president conceded. "That's the truth. Listen, I heard you and what I'm saying is we're still going to have to pass a bill."
House Speaker John Boehner said Friday that Obama was "damaging the presidency" with his orders and vowed that the Republican-run chamber would not stand by and allow them to be implemented.
"I will say to you, the House will, in fact, act," the Ohio Republican said. "We will listen to the American people, we will work with our members and we will work to protect the Constitution of the United States."
Republicans are considering a wide range of responses to the orders, ranging from using the budget process to defund their implementation, which risks shutting down the federal government next month, to filing a lawsuit against the president.
GOP lawmakers sued the Obama administration
on Friday in federal district court in Washington over its implementation of Obamacare, saying the president had overstepped his legal authority in carrying out the program.
"You have a lot of Republicans with different thoughts," Broun told Newsmax. "We all want to reel in this president's actions.
"It's a matter of just coming together and finding what is going to work the best. We need to use every single tool that our Constitution gives us and try to stop this out-of-control president."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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